Taking Action: Creating Model Emergency Management Plans for Schools, Institutions of Higher Education and Houses of Worship

As part of his plan to reduce gun violence, on January 16th the President directed the Departments of Homeland Security, Education, Health and Human Services and Justice to create model emergency management plans for schools, institutions of higher education, and houses of worship. As part of that effort, these agencies are seeking input on what should be included in these plans and how students and staff can best be trained to follow them.

Please share your ideas on what a school, institution of higher education, or house of worship should consider when developing and implementing a comprehensive emergency management plan, including ways the institution could involve the community or other stakeholders in drafting the plan; key issues the plan should address or that agencies should consider as they develop model plans; best practices for training staff, students and users of a facility to follow a plan; as well as best practices for how communities may plan to effectively recover from an incident.

Your ideas will help us understand what works best in your community—and how others could learn from your success. Together, we can make the nation more resilient and secure.

This campaign will be open for new ideas, comments and votes until March 22.

Campaign: Taking Action: Creating Model Emergency Management Plans for Schools, Institutions of Higher Education and Houses of Worship

K-12 Emergency Response Plans

K-12 emergency response plans need to be consistent with DHS/FEMA protocol, including NIMS, CPG 101, Multi-Hazard Preparedness Course for Schools, and HSEEP. This allows for the best possible coordination wtih first responders, local emergency management, and local public health agencies. Further, they need to include prevention strategies that are appropriate for schools and evidence-based. Arizona has recently developed ...more »

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Safe Exit Locations

I feel it is important for ALL people to be aware of Safe Exits in ALL locations. Fire/Building Codes to have laws for this and these are what we should work from. Put the EXIT signage at floor level as well as above the doorway as in a smoke condition the floor sign would be visible to anyone looking for a way out. Meeting Places have not been addressed either and not all buildings or outside locations are appropriate ...more »

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Standard on School Emergency Management

FEMA should look at the work done by the ASTM International Working Group WK8909 that drafted a proposed standard for School Emergency Management. (http://www.astm.org/DATABASE.CART/WORKITEMS/WK8908.htm). The working group began work in 2008 with a meeting attended by an assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Work continued until 2010 when a draft was submitted. However, the draft never moved further ...more »

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Four Phases of Emerg Mgmt for Schools

The four phases of emergency management (prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) provide a practical and sustainable framework around which P/K-12 schools, colleges and houses of worship may structure their emergency management plans. Our experience at the Montana Safe Schools Center is that the phases are easy to understand and that excellent resources are available to schools on these topics (ex: ...more »

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Access Control

First, controlling access to schools and other facilities has been conveyed in parts of other posts and comments, so thank you for bringing it up! Although I am not an expert in the subject, I thought this idea deserving of its own post. My take is, it is a good starting point for larger talks around security and should probably be discussed during planning as a mitigation technique. I do not believe access control ...more »

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Emergency Preparedness Advisori

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and bring my 15 years experience working local and nationally with schools, districts and tribes. Arizona Dept of Education and their advisory council just rolled out new ERP templates for our AZ schools, districts, tribes, charter and private schools. Over 400 school, tribes, charter and district employees, emergency management, public health, law enforcement, and fire attended. ...more »

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Security is Common Sense

The biggest problem Americans have with security is denial. Unlike Israel where security is taken seriously by professionals, American executives look at security as a burden... until something goes wrong. Ever notice the military can establish a "Green Zone" in war torn Iraq? That's because when we put our effort behind something we get it done. Likewise our political leadership ensure their everyday working environment ...more »

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Common Training Platform

Thanks to all who have contributed ideas to this message board. Good suggestions, all. A common theme that has run through many comments, and that was highlighted by many speakers at the recent White House sponsored session on emergency management planning is the importance of a common platform for training, exercises, response and management. With the phenomenal proliferation of new media and related tools, it is ...more »

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Future Ideas of Security for Schools

Every school or learning institution can have a formal plan of action. The problem with plans are they always go down the drain. I learned this in the Military. The training we received was so dry and boring sometimes looking back. Most importantly drilling and repetition is the perfect plan.It is human nature to freeze up in desperate times, but with so much practice it becomes second nature. We need the teachers and ...more »

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Use current frameworks/Provide assistance and guidance

Like others that have stated similarly, I believe that utilizing current frameworks and standards (CPG101, NFPA1600, etc) is relevant to emergency plans for all environments (municipalities, academic, etc). Rather than reinventing the wheel with a new plan standard for academic institutions or places of worship, federal resources would be better utilized by: (1) providing technical assistance and examples of how ...more »

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Standardization

Use DHS/FEMA - EMI as the focal point for all training regarding Emergency Planning for schools. Their training programs have been tested and methodologies vetted during both TTX and FTX and National Level Exercises. In addition to EMI DHS/ NPPD/ IP - Infrastructure Protection has a software program that could be used to Fuse everything to gather for the school and for the First Responder community the DHS capability ...more »

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basic plan for house of worship

Leadership should plan the difference between lockdown and evacuation times, and need assistance with this, including two offsite rally spots in different directions. Someone may enter the church with a weapon but no ill intention. Leadership should establish a safety committee, the "chain of command" in event of a problem includes who calls 911 and who does not so as not to overload 911 with bad information, first aid ...more »

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Emergency Management

I attended the K-12 Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools program training at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute. It provided an excellent detailed roadmap for collaboration with community stake holders,including emergency responders, health, business and private organizations. Over 10 school districts in our state have attended this week-long training and have found that it ignites involvement and awareness as ...more »

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Including Behavioral Health Needs

A comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for schools, higher university and/or church/faith-based institutions should include resources/approach to manage stress for crisis response professions and community members. Two examples of resources to incorporate into an Emergency Management Plan are: A Guide to Managing Stress in Crisis Response Professions provides a framework for stress management strategies for crisis ...more »

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SOCIAL NETWORK MONITORING & ANALYTICS TO PREDICT GUN VIOLENCE

Social Network Monitoring and Analytics provide law enforcement agencies some powerful new force multipliers in combating violence and crime across the USA. These new tools enable Law Enforcement agencies to monitor, detect, and even predict violent acts before they occur. Research data and actual events show that individuals, or groups of individuals who plan to conduct extreme violence on campus, or in a public venue ...more »

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Building evacuation route signage should be reevaluated

Building evacuation route signage needs to be reevaluated. Existing Fire evacuation route signs do not show all exits from a building, only fire exits. They do not show exits that are not considered fire safe such as stairwells that are not inclosed with fire safe doors. I just made fire evacuation route signs for our headquarters building and more than half of the building exits are not shown on the signage or with exit ...more »

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Planning Guidance, Not Plans Guidance

Model plans negate the real benefit of a planning process - the socialization, mutual learning and role acceptance that is gained when people come together to develop a plan for their organization. That phrase is taken from FEMA's CPG 101 v. 2, which is already an excellent document to help jurisdictions create plans. Perhaps it could be adapted to a lighter version suitable for the schools/IHEs/houses of worship audience. ...more »

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Require School Integration in Grant-Funded Preparedness Programs

Set a requirement for other preparedness funding programs (e.g. UASI, EPMG) that schools, colleges and universities must be participants in planning, training and exercises. In some jurisdictions the integration of institutions of higher education (IHEs) into local preparedness is non-existent or unidirectional. Many IHEs have their own police departments and have well-developed emergency management programs, but may ...more »

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Standards

In developing our Texas Unified School Safey and Security Standards, we insured that any Standard could be implemented, to level of scale and funding, by any school district, regardless of size and/or resources. Also, each Standard needed to be invariant across time, rather than a popular current trend. Finally, the Stadards needed to pass the "common sense test" and be viewed by at least 80% of the subject-matter-expert ...more »

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Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH)

DBH guidelines are being written into our State plan with special considration as to the type of training and experience should be required for individuals to provide DBH servces to children in disasters. Many otherwise well-qualified mental health specialists may not be well-suited to work with children and youth.

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Coordination between agencies and position funding

In New Hampshire we have a law and rule in place that requires all public and nonpublic schools and childcare programs to have an Emergency Response Plan in place that utilize the Incident Command System and seven standardized Response Actions. One advantage of this is that children entering kindergarten are already familiar with Lockdown, Reverse Evacuation, Secure Campus and the other Response Actions. Planning guidance ...more »

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Model plans and templates

First of all “Planning is a Process not an Event” and the work is keeping plan simple but all inclusive with that said “model” plans and “templates” tend to inherently lead to a lack of planning because in all too many cases people tend to fill in the blanks. The Federal Government might start by reviewing Federal programs that are already in place; such as the FEMA’s Emergency Management Institutes’ curriculum for developing ...more »

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Communication, Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

Safety & security initiatives such as interior and exterior surveillance cameras on all school campuses, in which the Waterford Police Department has access; swipe card access in all buildings; purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for every building; development and implementation of a bio-security and pandemic plan; large scale emergency drills; staff emergency training; mental health services; Alcohol, ...more »

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Emergency planning, training, and networking

Seven staff members from our college campus attended the FEMA training on emergency management for higher education sponsored by Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI in December of 2012. This training is highly recommended! It motivated, those of us in attendance, to create a committee to take an active role in emergency preparedness/planning on campus. The training also provided us with the ability to network ...more »

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Online Training for Schools (free to districts)

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has developed an online employee training program to accompany the substantial all-hazards emergency plan already in place at each of our schools. Called the Safety Training for Emergency Preparedness at Schools (STEPS) program, the courses allow us to offer consistent training in the practices and procedures embodied in our school safety plans and district policies. LAUSD ...more »

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